Artist Spotlight: Varna


If it was possible to buy shares in bands on the stockmarket, I would be putting a bit of my hard earned cash into Los Angeles’ three piece rock monster, Varna.

Can I be honest, readers? When it comes to hard rock and metal music, I have a confession to make, one that may be offensive to some, but here it is. I don’t like female vocalists. Its not a sexist thing, it’s simply a personal preference (don’t worry, there’s plenty of male singers I don’t like either – like, every emo band in history). I don’t know what it is, but, (and there are exceptions), it just doesn’t sound right to me. Often you have great female singers, technically, who front a rock or metal band and either try hard too hard to sound heavy, or they stick with a vocal style which is more suited to pop music. Ok, that’s off my chest. But in showing that I’m not totally sexist and dismissive, I did give Varna a try, and I am VERY glad I did.

Vocalist Tiana Woods brings something special to this band – her voice is pure power, and for a reason I can’t put my finger on, she just clicks with this music. It just works, simple as that.

Musically, Varna have a tough edge, heavy guitar riffs and drums that you can tell are being hit exactly how drums should be hit – fucking hard. Guitarist Rossen Pinkas does some really great work, and it is nothing to do with playing fast or complicated solos – its in the groove of the riffs he chugs out, and in the lead licks that come in and out of the songs at just the right time. While some may dismiss his playing because he’s not throwing around lightning fast solos, I would argue that it just isn’t the sort of music that needs it. What he shows is an extraordinary command of song structure and an ability to make a song sound heavy without sacrificing an ounce of commercial appeal.

Rob Shin brings the drums and I really enjoy his style. There’s no mucking around, there’s no 2 minute drum solos in the middle of songs – there is simply a discipline to pound the skins hard with intent, and put some real power behind the chunky guitar riffs and the soaring vocals.
I can’t speak highly enough of what Tiana Woods brings to this band also. The vocals sound…well…real. Nothing is contrived, she’s not there to be a token female lead singer in a rock band – she is genuinely bringing some serious power behind the mic.

Varna have released one EP titled ‘This Time, Its Personal’, and it is a killer EP. 3 tracks that are all begging for huge commercial success. Check out their video for ‘My Heart’ below.

You’re getting a genuine, modern hard rock band here with Varna, and while I don’t know when there is some more music coming from this band, but when it does, expect it to be HUGE.

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Craig Shepherd

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Posted on May 7, 2014, in Artist Spotlight and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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